We celebrate the coming of Jesus in his glory and all the Angels with him. He comes, as a Judge to separate the just from the unjust. While traditionally we interpret these as the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, of service to others, we can look at it from a different perspective. Jesus said he was:
- Hungry, you gave me food. Scripture tells us when Jesus was hungry he came across a fig tree that bore no fruit. He cursed it and it withered. Jesus expects us to bear fruit for him.
- Thirsty you gave me something to drink. Jesus was thirsty when he spoke to the Samaritan woman. She became a witness of Jesus to her town.
- A stranger and you welcomed me. Jesus took on flesh and his own did not receive him. To welcome Jesus is to receive him as he is: God became flesh.
- Naked and you gave me clothing. Jesus emptied himself to the Father and became flesh. To clothe him is to empty ourselves to him, give our lives to him.
- Sick, you took care of me. Jesus was scoured and beaten when he was arrested. To care for him is to look at the wounds of his hands, feet and side and believe in the resurrection.
- In prison you visited me. When Jesus was nailed on the cross, we come to him and receive the redemption he has won for us.
When we come before Jesus, he will ask us, did you bear fruit? Did you become my witness? Did you receive me as I am, God and Man? Did you give me your life? Did you look at my wounds and believe in the resurrection? Did you accept my redemption of you? None of us can answer all these with a yes. Which is why in the First Reading, Ezekiel prophesied about God being a shepherd who will seek out his sheep to rescue them, to shepherd them, to make them lie down, to bring back the stray, to bind the injured, to strengthen the weak. These are the things Jesus does as a King. He serves us, he heals us, the leads us. When we proclaim him as King, we follow him, because he leads us to eternal life.
St Paul says in the Second Reading, we are made alive in Christ. If we want life with Christ, we subject ourselves to him because all things will submit to him.
Lord Jesus, here I am. Help me to bear fruit, to witness for you, to receive you as God and Man, to surrender my life to you, to believe in your resurrection and let you lead me to my resurrection and let me accept your redemption. I surrender my life to you and proclaim you as my King. Never let me stray from your Word. Jesus Christ, the King of Mercy, I trust in You.